Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wyoming Heather by DeAnn Smallwood - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. DeAnn will award a $25 Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so make sure to leave a comment today, and visit her other stops by clicking on her banner.

Thanks to DeAnn for answering all our prying questions.

Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

Actually, I write in two genre’s: Historical romance and suspense/thriller. I have to say, though, the historical romance is my favorite genre. I do enjoy writing the suspense/thriller because it makes me step out of my box/comfort zone. It’s harder for me to write these books, but I enjoy pitting my mind against the serial killers in both of my books. I’m writing a series of three in this genre. Death Crosses The Finish Line is out now and available on Amazon and SoulMate Publishing. Death Is A Habit will be out the first of 2014. To keep my suspense/thrillers separate from my historical romances, I write them under the pen name of D.M. Woods. I’m currently working on the third in this series, Death Walks C Dock.

Now to my historical romances. I don’t know if I chose this genre or it chose me. I think I must have lived in the 1800’s, settling the western frontier. The rugged west and the people call to me. I try to make my characters believable, strong, and compassionate. It’s a challenge not to slip into modern technology or language. Wyoming Heather is a book depicting the strength required of a woman facing life alone in the harsh Wyoming mountains.

What research is required?

I do quite a bit of research for my novels. When writing suspense/thrillers, I have to research weapons, poisons, and language and background. Writing the historical romances, I am constantly researching what was available during the 1800’s. You don’t want to put in something only to find it wasn’t invented or made until the 1900’s. In Wyoming Heather, I researched veterinary procedures and medicines, cattle drives from Cheyenne Wyoming, the orphan train, and skills needed to run a ranch. A lot of the time I don’t know what research will be required. I start writing and suddenly I want to include something that needs more background. I really like this part of my writing. It sets the mood for my books.

Name one thing you learned from your heroine.

I learned compassion. Heather is a strong woman…she has to be. She’s taking on a man’s role by running her ranch alone without a man by her side. She’s proud of her accomplishments, but she’s woman enough to recognize she’s lonely. Heather welcomes into her life children and animals, caring for them with love and compassion. She doesn’t stop there. She brings into her home Molly McVee, a lonely woman starved for a home. As I travel with Heather, facing her many challenges, I’m drawn into her ability to give freely of her love and understanding. I based my character on my granddaughter, Heather, who is also a lover and healer of animals.

Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

Only a couple (wink). I like the door to my office closed while I’m writing. I also like absolute quiet. I think this is because I’m usually in another time era, living my story. I really resent it when I’m interrupted. It’s a jolt to have my door open or the phone ring and bring me back to present day, 2013. I never tell my plot or much about what I’m writing. I find that if I do this, I have less incentive to put it down on paper. It’s kinda like I’ve already told the story. I might share the title. Sometimes I write out on our patio when it’s warm and summery. Aren’t laptops great? I lost my beloved daughter dog, my little Yorkie, Jesse, a few years ago. Since then, you will find a Jesse in all of my books be it adult or child, man or woman. I dedicated my book, Tears In The Wind, to Jesse and all who have suffered through just such a loss.

Plotter or pantser?

Pantser. Oh, I write down a few sentences about what I might put in the story. Sometimes I even follow what I wrote. More often than not, what I think will fit doesn’t. I always have the title before I start the story. But like the yellow page ad says: I let my fingers do the walking. I love to see what flies from the end of them. I did read an article that encourages writers to be plotters. It was very interesting and someday I might try it. But I’m afraid that if I get too technical, I’ll lose what ability I have. Writing is a thrill for me. It brings me great joy. There’s nothing like seeing your book in print.

Look to your right-what’s sitting there?

My printer and a window that looks out onto our patio and garden spot. In the summer I can see birds eating at the feeder. And in the cold Colorado winter, I can look out and see them drinking out of the small wash tub of water we keep a heater in so it doesn’t freeze over. Now if you were to ask what I see behind me, I’d have to say my Yorkie son, Eli. I sit on the edge of my office chair, facing the computer, and Eli (all five pounds of him) jumps onto the back of the chair, curls up, and lays there while I write. If I pull a chair over to the window, and put a comfy pillow in it, Stormy, my four pound Yorkie daughter, will sit there. She looks out the window hoping to see a stray cat brave enough to dash through the back yard. They rarely do, but hey, it’s a chance.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Yep. Two new books. As I mentioned above, I’m working on Death Walks C Dock. However, it has taken a back seat to another historical novel I’m writing, Montana Man. This story has taken me over. I’m totally in love with Jesse and Wisteria, my two main characters. Hopefully, I’ll have it completed in the next few months, ready to start the dreaded editing. I have to tell you I have many, many stories just waiting to be written. I write down the titles and a few paragraphs, hit save, then try to forget them while I concentrate on the one at hand.

Do you have a question for our readers?

This is great…I get to ask a question. Sure I do. Do you like books where the male character takes the lead or do you want the woman the focal point of the story? Do you like the hero and heroine to be handsome and beautiful? Do you like books to be a certain length? Oops, that’s more than one question. Sorry.

This has been fun. I hope I’ve given you some insight to me and my writing. Next to writing, my greatest pleasure is having my books read and enjoyed. Truly, I mean this!

Heather is a spirited, independent woman living alone on a ranch left to her by her parents. She is also a healer of animals, domestic and wild. A woman doing a man's work, running a ranch that everyone said couldn't be done, not in this untamed, vastly unsettled land, in the mid 1800's. The ranch had everything she needed except water. She stole that from a neighboring abandoned ranch watched over by a lonely cabin and a grave.

He rode alone, coming back after five years to an empty cabin, a run-down ranch, and a grave on a hill. A former Texas Ranger burnt out on life and afraid to love. Whip had spent five years hunting the man that took his wife's life and left him to die.

Whip and Heather meet in an explosive moment on the banks of the Powder River. Both lonely, both drawn to one another, and both stubbornly fighting the attraction.

Whip vowed he would take up his dream abandoned five years ago and make his beloved ranch profit and to put aside the sweet linger of all memories shared by him and his wife. The ranch would be a jealous mistress occupying his every thought and every minute. He had no time or desire for a woman much less a pair of runaways from The Orphan Train, stowaways in Whip’s wagon and onto the Powder River Ranch.

But fate heeds no one or no thing. The criminal from Whip’s past reemerges in the present. Now, Heather is in danger and Whip stand, once again on the cusp of loss. Fate shows a strong, willful woman, full of love and compassion, just what she’s been missing in her life. And it shows a calloused Texas Ranger that Heather and love does flourish on the Wyoming plains.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

Her mouth was dry, her clothes filthy. She was wearing not only the dust of the land, but hair and blood from the calves she’d spent the morning branding. Hair, blood, and dust.

Some perfume, she thought with disdain. I’m a real lady.

I live in Colorado with my husband and my two Yorkie kid dogs: Stormy, four pounds, and Eli, six pounds. I’m a native of Colorado, but I lived several years in Wyoming and Montana. I draw from these beautiful states for much of my material. My historical romances are: Montana Star, Sapphire Blue, Unconquerable Callie, and Wyoming Heather. Tears In The Wind is a contemporary romance. Then I changed genres from my beloved romances and wrote, under the pen name of D. M. Woods, my first suspense/thriller: Death Crosses The Finish Line. The second book in this ‘death’ series, Death Is A Habit, will be out later this year. Truly, I mean it when I say my greatest pleasure next to writing is having my books read and enjoyed. There are many more stories just waiting to be written and enjoyed.

Buy site:


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  1. Thanks to It's Raining Books for hosting me. Love your site. I"m looking forward to today and appreciate this opportunity.

  2. It's been a fun tour. The book sounds great


  3. Thanks, Rita. It has been a fun tour. Hope you like WYOMING HEATHER.

  4. I am definitely getting this book I love reading about it.

    1. Hi MomJane. Glad to hear from you. Let me know what you think about this story. Thanks for dropping by.

  5. Thanks for sharing the great interview and the giveaway. Sounds like a great book and I am looking forward to reading it. evamillien at gmail dot com

  6. Hi, thanks for taking the time to comment. I really do like this book and hope you will, too. I love writing about this time era.

  7. I like all lengths of books and I like them to be focused on both the man and the woman.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    1. Hi and thanks for stopping by. I think you'll like Whip & Heather. They are two of my favorite characters.

  8. Eli & Stormy are so tiny...4 & 5 pounds?! My cats are each between 13 and 15 pounds. LOL.
    I like a strong heroine-driven story. I do like them to be beautiful, but I also love a "plain Jane" story or a BBW story
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. I agree Eli & Stormy are little, but very important in our house. They run it. I'll bet your cats do yours, too. Heather is a strong woman. I think she's beautiful inside & out.
      Thanks for your comments.

  9. Interesting characters

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. It was fun developing these characters. They took on a life of their own and I hated to see the book's like a death or loss. Thanks for stopping by.


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?